Three Things to Think About When Choosing an Applicant Tracking System

Gina Deveney
Posted by in Human Resources

An increasing number of companies are turning to applicant tracking systems to take the work out of the recruiting and hiring process. Depending on the specific system, applicant screening programs screen applications to eliminate unqualified applicants, administer and score eligibility tests, schedule interviews and track new hire paperwork. If the company you work for needs to streamline the hiring process, consider implementing an applicant tracking system.

Studies have found that recruiters spend as little as just six seconds scanning a resume. On the other hand, a Business Insider Daily survey found that 76 percent of employers spend an average of five minutes reading a resume. Saving time during the hiring process can have adverse effects on productivity and lead to a high turnover rate. Applicant tracking systems do the work for employers, which saves time, but most systems are comprehensive, so the best candidates are selected. The saving of time is just one of the many benefits of applicant tracking systems.

An important thing to think about when choosing an applicant tracking system is the number of recruiting options that are available. An effective tracking system should give you the option to post job openings on popular job boards. In addition, the system should also be compatible with social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, so that job openings can be announced. If a tracking system does not have the capability to link with multiple sourcing channels, you are unable to attract a large and diverse applicant pool. Fortunately, applicant tracking software is evolving rapidly, so there are a number of programs available that give employers lots of options when it comes to attracting applicants.

Another thing to consider when it comes to applicant tracking systems is how easy it is for human resource employees to learn the new system. Although it is hard to find a balance between a variety of helpful features and user-friendly interfaces, there are a number of systems available that fit this criteria. The bottom line is the more time the staff has to spend learning the new program, the more productivity is affected.

It is also important that your company's applicant tracking system is user-friendly when applicants use the program. Always ask for a demonstration allowing you to see the experience from the applicant's point of view before you decide on a tracking program. You want to make sure the system is intuitive to avoid losing qualified applicants to a system that either does not function correctly or is difficult to use.

Applicant tracking systems cut down on the amount of work the human resource department has to dedicate to the recruiting and hiring process. Although applicant tracking systems are a great investment that can increase productivity, most systems are costly, so make sure you find the right system that meets all of your company's needs. Consider a system's features and degree of usability before you make a decision.


(Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles /


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch